Researchers from the University of South Carolina have published an in-depth report about how better training of certified nurses assistants (CNAs) could make a significant impact on reducing nursing home abuse and neglect. CNAs provide the vast majority of daily care that seniors living in residential care settings receive. CNAs provide assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, and doing other routine daily tasks. Despite the important role CNAs play in a senior’s life, they are often paid very little, have few career opportunities for advancement, and have minimal training. Most have only a high-school diploma and have completed approximately 75-hours of additional training required for certification.
When a CNA is neglectful or abusive to a senior in a nursing facility, the victim of the abuse or his or her family members may take legal action against the nursing home employing the nursing assistant. An Atlanta nursing home neglect lawyer can provide assistance in pursuing a damage claim. Nursing homes can be held responsible for negligent actions of their workers, so it is in the best interest of residential care facilities to ensure CNAs receive adequate training.
Proper CNA Training Can Reduce Risks of Atlanta Nursing Home Neglect
The University of South Carolina researchers conducted interviews with staff members in nursing facilities, as well as with senior safety advocates, policy makers, and other professionals within the elder care industry. Based upon in-depth interviews, several key areas of training were identified where CNAs need to develop core competencies.
One of the most important aspects of training for certified nursing assistants should involve helping CNAs to develop a comprehensive definition of abuse and neglect. Some behaviors like hitting a senior are obviously defined as abuse. However, some CNAs may not even be aware when actions have crossed the line into neglect. Things like not taking the time to feed a senior and instead using a nutrition shake can have an adverse impact on patient health and quality of life. Refusal to respond to a call button or not checking on residents frequently enough can also be classified as neglect that has a harmful impact on patient health.
CNAs also need to be trained in federal and state requirements for documenting abuse, neglect, resident complaints, and resident mistreatment. While most are provided with some basic information, many CNAs do not have a full understanding of when and how to document problems and report possible abuse and neglect. Every staff member has a role to play in keeping seniors safe and reducing the chances of serious problems occurring in a home care setting.
Finally, CNAs need to be provided with training in how to identify and respond to workplace conditions and factors that can increase the chance a senior will be affected by substandard or neglectful care. Understaffing is one major issue in senior care homes that can lead to resident injuries due to abuse and neglect. CNAs need to be mindful of conditions that trigger problems and need to know how to deal with these suboptimal circumstances.
By 2050, more than six million seniors will be living in nursing care facilities and CNAs will be caring for them. Proper training is essential to protect this vast population of vulnerable seniors from injuries caused by neglect and abuse.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent nursing home. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.